|Don't even try to ignore the law|
A court has sentenced the head of a tomb-raiding ring to death with a two-year reprieve for robbing ancient graves and trafficking in cultural relics stolen from the Hongshan cultural relics protection region. Another three key members of the gang received life sentences for excavating ancient graves and cultural sites, [...] The court said a gang led by Yao Yuzhong formed a secret chain of workers to conduct the crimes, including some who provided financial support, invested in equipment, excavated the tombs and sold the relics. Another 18 gang members received sentences ranging from three to 15 years. "Yao directed others to excavate the nationally protected cultural relics ... causing great losses for our national heritage. The circumstances of such a crime are very serious, and the suspect is subject to death," the court said. In Yao's case, the reprieve means his sentence could be later reduced to life in prison.Peter Tompa will no doubt soon be starting a campaign urging leniency.